As the longstanding fight over the future of the Maclay Bridge continues, Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier is being accused of playing favorites.
Supporters of a new South Avenue Bridge say Strohmaier is forwarding their emails to opponents of the new bridge, and is using their feedback to respond to concerns. They claim this is one of a few ways Strohmaier is giving “preferential treatment” to opponents of the South Avenue Bridge.
In reviewing the email strings, the Missoulian confirmed Strohmaier forwarded at least three messages from private citizens to Fred Stewart, one of the leaders of the Maclay Bridge Alliance (MBC), who wants to rehabilitate the existing historical bridge. The messages were forwarded within 10 minutes of receipt by Strohmaier between Jan. 29 and Jan. 31.
Strohmaier also forwarded Stewart an email from former Commissioner Jean Curtiss on Jan. 31, which included her comments. Although her 18 years on the commission ended on Jan. 1, Curtiss is still actively supporting construction of the South Avenue Bridge, while Strohmaier ran on a platform in 2016 that included reconsidering the decision to move forward with the new bridge.
In most of the